November 10, 2008 § 3 Comments
JOURNALIST: The Australian national academy of music were quoted today in the paper saying that they weren’t sufficiently warned that their funding might be cut and that they might have to close. What’s your reaction to the statement they’ve put out ?
GARRETT: There’s been a very clear communication to the academy and the board. We’ve provided absolute certainty as to what our expectations are. My number one goal is to make sure that we provide the continuity of elite classical music training to those students who need it. That’s what the Government’s aim is and my expectation is that we will have something further to say about that. We’re in discussion with stakeholders. This is a decision that will be seen in time, I’m absolutely confident, to be good for music students not only in Victoria but right around Australia.
JOURNALIST: They seem to imply that they’ve been caught on the hop a bit – is there any chance of a reprieve?
GARRETT: I’ve made it very clear in my correspondence to the board that the Government’s expectations have been laid out, have been identified and ifthey’re unable to meet them, we need to make sure that there’s a more effective, better directed way of producing this kind of training for those elite classical musicians. I’m not going back on the decision in any way. We’re already in advanced discussions with stakeholders and I expect a good solution to come out of this decision – I think it was the right decision to make.
Well, that would appear to be that. Come December 31st 2009, ANAM will be no more. The minister is standing by his earlier statement of the consequences of ANAM’s “non-compliance” with his ministerial directives.
The ANAM board has publicly denied that the ministerial directives were in any way clear or realistically achievable. His incompetent handling of this issue really takes your breath away.
ANAM must be replaced by something that is, in the minister’s own words “a more effective, better directed way of producing this kind of training for these elite classical musicians.”
If he fails to achieve this outcome, the tragic irony of Minister Garrett’s pre-election accusations of the previous government being “cultural philistines” will be remembered along with his legacy of destroying ANAM as a superb centre of excellence in Australian classical music.
Principal Bass Clarinet
WA Symphony Orchestra.